Defender Shannon Doyle has been with the Connecticut Whale since the league began back in 2015, and over the first four seasons, she has seen four different teams raise the Isobel Cup as NWHL champions. It would mean more than words can explain for her to be able to lift that trophy over her head, finally, at the end of this upcoming season.
“For me personally being a founding member of the league, being here and watching everyone else get to hoist that Cup, it would mean the world to me. I would trade going to last year’s All-Star Game, I would trade every single one of my goals, and points and everything. I’m really hoping that this year is our year,” said the 27-year-old from Baldwin, Ontario.
When asked if she would trade the plethora of blocked shots that she has absorbed over the past four seasons (we’ve lost count of how many she has) she replied: “No those are too essential, I can’t trade those in!”
In this summer series, we’ll go head to head with a different player in every edition, asking them five questions in five minutes for Season Five of the NWHL.
PHOTO BY BRYAN JOHNSON
1) If you could invite three people to a dream dinner who would they be and why?
Ooh, that’s tough! I would probably invite my grandpa because he passed away and I didn’t get to see him a lot when he was alive, he was living in England. I would invite Oprah because I feel like she’s just a good time and would probably give away some free stuff too. Everyone wants free stuff, and "you get a car!" I need that! This is a tough last pick, but I would probably invite (former NHLer) Darcy Tucker because I used to love watching him play growing up and I would love to just talk to him.
2) Favorite place that you have traveled to for vacation or hockey?
I would probably say Germany for hockey and also just for vacation, a little bit of both. I was over there in 2015. The culture was so much different and we got to see a really, really awesome castle that the Disney castle is based on. That was super cool.
3) How many games does your puppy attend per season?
He’s in the car with me right now! He attended all seven of our home games in Connecticut last season. He did not go to Pittsburgh.
4) You’ve been with the league since its inception. What is your favorite memory over the past four seasons in the NWHL?
Two things come to mind right away. One is a fan that I met in Pittsburgh and we’re now email buddies. We email back and forth every week since I met her this past season in Pittsburgh. It’s pretty cool that I met a fan and now we’re electronic pen pals, I love that.
The other thing that really sticks out to me is during my very first season we were playing against the Riveters and going for our eighth win in a row (on December 13, 2015). We were down 3-1 going into the final minutes and we tied it up, and then beat them in a shootout 4-3. That was unreal!
5) What’s one thing you learned from being a teacher that helps you as a hockey player?
I think what assists me the most from my job is being able to listen to a variety of opinions and being open-minded. You have to be really open-minded as a teacher to listen to all of your students and your colleagues to make the best decision for the school. I think a hockey team, especially as a captain you have to be able to listen to everyone’s opinion and not just ‘my way or the highway’ kind of attitude.